Lilli has had a stomach bug the last couple of days. Her little system has staged a revolt the likes of which she’s never experienced, and, as she inches closer to 4 (say it ain’t so!), she has a lot to say about it. The main topic (of course) centers around food.

She does understand that if she eats the wrong things it sends her straight to the bathroom, which, at first, was not a problem because she wasn’t hungry. But last night, as things were dying down and she was feeling a little better, she wanted some dinner. The very few, bland options that her mother was offering weren’t doing it for her.

…but I don’t WANT toast! Take me to Mimmie’s house! She’ll fix my belly AND feed me dinner!”

It’s nice to be the good guy.

However, I really remember being the bad guy. The one who made everyone eat their vegetables, and take their medicine, and do their homework. The one who utilized time out, or a swift swat to the backside when it was needed, and who seemed to say “no” a lot more often than “yes.” The one who had to drag screaming children out of the store, leaving a full shopping cart behind, because a tantrum over not getting candy had escalated beyond Category 5. Yes, I remember being the bad guy, who, though highly frustrated at times, wouldn’t have considered being anything else because I loved my kids too much.

Don’t we do this as adults, though? We want a 24/7 good guy in God, but when we perceive Him being the bad guy in our lives, allowing struggles to grow and refine us, administering discipline when it’s necessary, we are often so tempted to turn our backs on Him or call Him mean and unfair. The thing is, He’s not going to quit being who He is no matter what we think. He loves us too much for that.

My kids knew, deep down, that, even when I had to be the bad guy, I was ultimately the good guy, doing what was good – BEST – for them. It’s no different with God, except that He’s not just a good guy.

He is goodness incarnate.



“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 NIV

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 ESV

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17 ESV

Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
    those you teach with your instructions.
You give them relief from troubled times
    until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
 The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his special possession.” Psalm 94:12-14 NLT